An ankle sprain refers to the tearing of ligaments of the ankle. This is a very common injury and there's a good chance that while playing as a child or stepping on an uneven surface as an adult, you sprained your ankle. Typically, there are two types of ankle sprains, one is called as an inversion sprain when your ankle is rolled inward, and the other one is known as an eversion sprain when your ankle is rolled outward.
Inversion sprain are the most common type and they cause pain along the outer side of the ankle. When you have your toes on the ground and heel upwards, your ankle's ligaments are stretched and under tension, making them vulnerable to tear. If a sprain is not treated properly, you may develop long term problems. Depending on how many ligaments are injured, your sprain will be classified as Grade I, II or III.
To treat your ankle sprain, follow these guidelines:
Grade I: R.I.C.E guidelines
Grade II: Restoring your ankle's flexibility
For grade II sprains, follow the R.I.C.E. guidelines and allow more time for healing. A doctor or a physiotherapist may immobilize or splint your sprained ankle. This helps restore your ankle's flexibility, range of motion and strength.
Every ligament injury requires rehabilitation. If it is not rehabilitated properly, then your sprained ankle might not heal completely and may get re-injured. If you don't complete the rehabilitation, you could suffer chronic pain, instability and arthritis in your ankle. If your ankle still hurts, it could mean that the injured ligament has not healed right.
Grade III: Maintenance Exercises
Once your ligaments have healed, they still are vulnerable to any injury so you have to take utmost care of your sprained ankle. Once you can stand on your sprained ankle again, your physiotherapist will prescribe some routine exercises to strengthen your muscles, ligaments and increase your flexibility, balance and control.
Listen to your body and slow down when you feel pain or fatigue while exercising or training. Regular exercise can keep your muscles and ligaments strong. Therefore, whenever you twist your ankle, the sprain may not be that severe and also your strong ligaments may not tear easily simply.